Lyft has launched a dispatch developer program to let brands and businesses integrate its ride-hailing service into their own services. By providing a white-labelled ride-hailing service, Lyft allows service brands to provide their customers with rides operated and controlled by brands themselves independent of Lyft. According to Lyft, this program aims to provide brands with greater flexibility by offering “the ability to request on-demand and scheduled rides without the need for a smartphone or Lyft account.” One Call Care Management and Logisticare, two businesses specializing in health care transportation, is already using this dispatch program to help patients get around.
What Brands Need To Do
Developers have long had the option to integrate Lyft’s service into third-party apps, but this new program will give them control over the supply side of the ride-hailing service and own the entire experience from billing to notifications, thus controlling the whole customer experience instead of relying on Lyft or other third-party ride-hailing services. Brands can use this to drive traffic to their local stores or events, but the bigger opportunity lies the possibility of integrating this on-demand service into connected devices to bring seamless, automated ride-hailing into new areas.
For example, a hotel brand can use this to set up a system where rides are automatically requested when the guests lock the door of their room. As more and more devices comes online, brands need to figure out how to leverage programs like this Lyft one to provide an optimized customer experience.
Volkswagen is getting serious about building ride-hailing and autonomous vehicles as the German auto giant announced the launch of a spinoff company that focuses on “new mobility solutions.” The new standalone company, Moia, is based in Berlin and will soon start testing some of Volkswagen’s ride-sharing and car-sharing programs there. The company says it aims to generate “a significant share” of its sale revenue from the Moia services by 2025.
Why Brands Should Care
Besides Volkswagen, major automakers like Ford and General Motors have also been launching car-sharing services or partnering with Uber or Lyft to restructure its revenue streams, cash in on the rise of on-demand car services, and prepare for a not-too-distant future where consumers choose on-demand ride-sharing and carsharing services over private car ownerships. As development in this area ramps up, more and more consumers will soon become addressable as they ditch the steering wheels for the backseats, and brands will have to explore new partnerships and ad opportunities, such as Uber’s Trip Experiences, to capitalize on the consumer attention freed from driving.
Designer fashion brands are increasingly turning to on-demand rental services like Rent the Runway and Armarium to reach new customers and figure out what they like. By tapping into the customer data from on-demand services, designer brands are able to detect trendy items and designs of the season and customize part of their collections. Working with rental services also helps designers appeal to their users, who typically have yet to develop brand loyalty to any particular fashion brand and therefore represent a valuable audience segment for brands to target.
What Brands Should Do
The ongoing collaboration between designer brands and fashion rental services highlights one way brands can leverage the booming popularity of on-demand services to expand their audience reach and gather customer insights. More brands can benefit from similar collaborations by enabling a wider audience to sample their products and services and getting a better read on their preferences.
To learn more about how brands can make use of the digital tools available to reach shoppers across channels, check out the Boundless Retail section of our Outlook 2016.
Uber is partnering with Yext, a startup that specializes in business location data, to make it easier for users to book rides to their favorite stores and restaurants. Integrating with Uber’s API, Yext allows brands to create custom “get an Uber” buttons for their mobile apps, sites, and newsletters which direct consumers to the Uber app and shows them all the nearby store locations. Consumers can specify at which entrance they would like to be dropped off. Brands that are Yext customers can also surface ads and branded content during the ride via Uber’s Trip Experience. Guitar World and Cole Haan are among the brands that have been testing this new feature.
What Brands Should Do
This combination of Uber’s on-demand ride service and Yext’s location data creates a powerful call-to-action tool for brands and retailers to drive store visits and online-to-offline conversion. The integration with Trip Experience provides brands with one more endpoint to engage with consumers and make the car ride part of the brand experience.
For more information on how retailers can connect with shoppers across various sales channel, check out the Boundless Retail section in our Outlook 2016.
Brands will soon gain a new way to reach Uber passengers as the car-hailing app has started to roll out a new feature dubbed Uber Offers, which enables brands to provide Uber users with value offers during their rides via in-app ads. If a rider chooses to click on an ad and make a purchase with a Visa credit card associated with their Uber account, they will receive up to $20 in credit for their next Uber ride. Uber has been quietly testing the feature in select cities since late last year, but only started rolling out this feature nationwide this week for a Mother’s Day campaign from online flower retailer ProFlower. Previously, Uber also partnered with ProFlower for a Valentine’s Day campaign in 2014 to give out free roses along with ProFlower coupons to riders.
What Brands Need To Do
This is not the first time Uber has tried to incorporate brands into rides. The company launched “Trip Experiences” last January to allow third-party apps to serve up notifications and content via Uber’s app to keep riders entertained during their trips. This new Uber Offers product, however, certainly makes a stronger case for brands to partner with Uber so as to reach the highly receptive consumers staring at their phones while stuck in the backseat. For brands that wish to reach a captive mobile audience with a compelling value proposition that can directly convert them into new customers, Uber Offers should be an ad product worth looking into.
Popular ride-sharing service Lyft has teamed up with Justin Bieber in a rather odd bit of cross-promotion. Request a Lyft ride under the designated “Bieber Mode” starting this Thursday through Nov. 19 and you will receive an offer to download the Canadian pop singer’s new album for half-off.
Although this partnership between Lyft and Bieber may seem a bit “out there,” it is important to note that Lyft and its arch rival Uber are certainly no stranger to this kind of stunt marketing, Back in May, Uber launched a brief cross-promotion with Mad Max: Fury Road where Uber drivers in Seattle dressed up as characters from the movie. Similarly, Lyft offered Back To The Future-themed rides for one day last month in New York City to celebrate the movie’s legacy. In February, Lyft also tried a guerilla marketing campaign which graffitis hopscotch-style ads on some sidewalks of San Francisco.
What Brands Need To Do
Unlike these aforementioned campaigns designed to court publicity and create buzz, this new “Bieber Mode” marks Lyft’s first entry into a direct sales campaign, where album purchases will be directly attributed to rides. Random as this partnership may seem, it does point to new creative ways for brands to promote their products via popular on-demand services and reach consumers with value offers in unexpected scenarios.
Earlier today, Starbucks announced a partnership with ride-sharing service Lyft, which includes a plan to reward Lyft drivers and users in the states with Starbucks reward points as part of its loyalty program. Similarly, national department store chain Macy’s is also teaming up with Deliv, a Menlo Park, CA-based startup that offers on-demand delivery services, to expand same-day delivery to several new U.S. markets this summer.
With the continuous rise of the on-demand economy comes a slew of new services that present easy gateways for brands to get in on the trend and the changing consumer behaviors. In both scenarios here, a big-name national brand partners with an up-and-coming on-demand service to leverage it into expanding its existing service at a cost-effective way that also benefits the customers. In return, those lesser-known, on-demand services get introduced to a large number of mainstream consumers while also gaining legitimacy.
What Brands Should Do
Brands, especially those in retail and CPG, would be smart to consider exploring similar partnerships with compatible on-demand services that could help enhance their brand value.
Source: Reuters & GeekWire
Local deals discovery site Groupon has acquired Baltimore-based food delivery startup OrderUp for an undisclosed amount, the companies announced Thursday. Since the successful IPOs of Just Eat and Grubhub/Seamless over a year ago, food and grocery delivery has been one of the hottest startup spaces attracting VC investments. According to CB Insights. more than $1 billion was invested in 2014, with a further half a billion dollars invested in Q1 2015. New competitors keeps popping up in the sector, backed by restaurateurs or major tech companies, all competing to take over the local economy.
Read original story on: TechCrunch & VentureBeat
Amazon has expanded Prime Now, its one-hour delivery service for Prime members, to London. An update to the Prime Now app notes the services is now “available in selected London postcodes”. This is the first foray for Prime Now outside the U.S., which first launched in Manhattan last December, which puts Amazon in direct competition with local on-demand delivery services such as Weengs.
Similarly, the ecommerce giant also announced new expansion for its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform in India. Encouraged by the “ huge potential in the Indian economy and for the growth of e-commerce in India”, the Seattle-based company plans to open a new data center in the growing market in 2016. This marks Amazon’s first expansion in India, and, combined with the expansion of Prime Now service, signals an accelerated ambition in Amazon’s global development.
Read original story on: The Next Web
Following the steps of fellow automakers BMW and Audi, Ford announced on Tuesday morning that its car-sharing service “go!drive” is out of beta and now open for public testing in London with 50 vehicles available at 20 locations across the city. The new service employs a pay-by-the-minute approach to pricing, including the fee for fuel and insurance. As more and more auto brands start to imitate Uber and start testing their own on-demand car rental services, it seems reasonable to envision a future in which car companies won’t just sell cars, but also rides, one trip at a time.